Most of us have had at least one. Some of us have quite a few. So what makes cavities so persistent, keeping more children out of school than any other disease? Usually, the answer is simple: not enough brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting the dentist. Snacking on sweets and slurping sodas doesn’t help either. But rather than feel guilty, get informed.
Q: What’s the difference between tooth decay and tooth cavity?
A: Good question! Most people think tooth decay and tooth cavity are the same thing. But they’re not. Tooth decay refers to a gradual process during which bacteria in the mouth produce acids that destroy the surfaces of teeth. Over time, tooth decay can erode enamel to the point that a hole, or cavity, forms.
Q: How do I know if I have cavities?
A: Cavities are one of the first things your dentist looks for during a regular dental exam. X-rays allow your dentist to diagnose whether you have dental cavities and how extensive they are. Sometimes a tooth cavity is visible to the naked eye; if you see black holes in your teeth, those could be signs. Another cavity red flag is a toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks.
Q: How do dentists treat dental cavities?
A: Treatment depends on the size of the cavity and the degree of damage. Although many dental cavities are treated with fillings, onlays may be necessary to treat large cavities affecting the cusps of teeth, while cavities affecting the areas in between the cusps may be treated with inlays. In some cases, dental crowns are used to protect a tooth from further tooth cavity damage. Dental sealants are often applied to children’s teeth as a preventative measure against cavities.
Still have questions about cavities or other dental problems? Your dentist will be happy to answer them during your next checkup.
Even Seniors Get Cavities
As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay. Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems. The wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.
Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. That’s great news for seniors. The bad news is anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.
Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:
· Difficulty brushing & flossing
· Not enough fluoride
· Gum disease
· Dry mouth
· Poor diet
There are several ways seniors can stay cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. Fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets can help. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.
For seniors with mobility or dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either — floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.
Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are still essential. We use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.
A tooth is considered impacted when it only partially grows through the gums. This can happen because another tooth blocks it, or it grows in crookedly. The third molar typically erupts from age 17 to 21 and is the last tooth to appear, which is why it’s the most likely tooth to become impacted – there’s usually no room left for it.
Although an impacted tooth does not always lead to pain or discomfort, the impaction can cause other problems. A partially erupted tooth can create an opening in the gum where food and other particles can accumulate, leading to gum infection. Impacted teeth can also develop tooth decay, and they can also push on adjacent teeth, causing all your teeth to shift.
For these reasons, it’s usually recommended to have wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 21. The younger you are the better (and faster) the surrounding tissue and bone will heal. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the symptoms if you’re over 21, though.
No matter what age you are, if an impacted tooth is causing you pain, soreness, sensitivity or inflammation, come in for a visit. Better to get treatment than unnecessarily endure pain and discomfort!
Persistent pain or an infection usually means the tooth will need to be removed. Sometimes this can be done right in the office. Otherwise, we can give you a referral to a recommended oral surgeon.
Oral health goes way beyond having amazing white teeth and no cavities. Daily brushing and flossing although very important are not the only determination as to how well your teeth maintain over time. Sometimes, during various cycles in your life, especially for women, a little more work in needed. Regular dental appointments play an important part in keeping your teeth and gums in good repair. Your dentist can identify issues going on with your teeth or gums that may go unnoticed by you without their help.
For women specifically, oral health care needs to change at specific time during her lifespan. This is because, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, menopause, menstruation as well as other factors contribute to the change in hormones in a women’s body. The female sex hormones at various states in a women’s life effects how her mouth responds to plaque. Without extra attention to brushing, flossing and dental cleanings during these fluctuations, plaque will build causing cavities and gum disease.
Did you know 1 out of every 4 women between the ages of 30-54 have been reported with periodontitis? In addition, 1 out of every 2 women between the ages 55-90 are reported with periodontitis. This number can dramatically decrease with help from your dentist. Your dentist is aware of these fluctuations in your body chemistry and can advise you the best ways to compensate when your oral health is negatively responding to your body’s chemistry.
Why see your dentist during hormonal changes?
- Menstruation– some women find their gums swell and bleed
- Pregnancy– makes your mouth more susceptible to gingivitis
- Using Oral Contraceptive– possible hormonal gingivitis
- Menopause– hormonal changes can lead to periodontitis
- Osteoporosis– Can lead to tooth loss
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Charlotte, NC 28262
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Posted in Dental Health
Tagged dental, dental issues, dentist, menopause, menstruation, oral contraceptives, oral health, oral health care, periodontitis, plaque, women
Why going to the dentist is important
With the advancement of modern medicine, it has been proven that your dental health affects your physical health. With that being said, a regular visit to your dentist is needed to ensure you remain in the best physical health.
Dental Care- The neglected part of health care.
People tend to neglect their dental needs. Many people believe that their dental health is optional but in truth it is not. Tooth decay is the single most common and preventable disease afflicting most Americans. Having a tooth ache or cavity is as common as the common cold. Left untreated, your dental problems will become more extensive as well as more expensive to correct.
||Average Number of Decayed Missing or Filled Teeth Per Person
||Percent of Decayed Missing or Filled Teeth Per 100 teeth est
||Percent of Age Group Affected by Tooth Decay
What is Dental Layaway?
Just like healthcare, dental care can be intrusively expensive for families. The office of David M. Glasscock DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry has a solution! We provide pre-payment options or Dental Layaway. We can set up an account for you to use when ever needed. Almost like a prepaid credit card. Regardless if you add $20 per month or $10 per week, dental layaway is the solution to the unexpected dental expenses that seem to pop up now and then. For more information call the office of David M. Glasscock . Ph# 704-510-1150
Posted in Dental Health, Glasscock Dental
Tagged David M. Glasscock DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, dental, dental care, dental health, health care, layaway, physical health, teeth, tooth, tooth decay
You pay good money for your Dental Insurance. Maximizing your dental benefits is important to make sure your get the most value for your hard earned dollars.
How do you do this?
Each dental plan is set up with maximums that can be used in a calendar year. Most calendar years begin in January and end in December. To maximize your much needed dental care, scheduling a dentist appointment in October to put an oral care plan in place is essential. The office of David M. Glasscock then can set your appointments to maximize your benefits in both calendar years
How does this help you?
With your benefits maximized in both calendar years means less out of pocket expense for you! A person who is in need of a number of dental procedures to restore their dental health becomes frustrated over the cost. Because of this, they might neglect dental care which in turn will effects their overall health. Glasscock Dental is here to help. We will schedule your appointments to maximize your insurance benefit rather than your out of pocket expense.
Below is some information from Delta Dental to help understand the terminology of your dental plan. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office of Glasscock Dental at 704-510-1150
Most dental plans have an annual dollar maximum. This is the maximum dollar amount a dental plan will pay toward the cost of dental care within a specific benefit period (usually January through December). The patient is personally responsible for paying costs above the annual maximum. Consult your plan booklet for specific information about your plan.
Most dental plans have a specific dollar deductible. It works like your car insurance. During a benefit period, you personally will have to satisfy a portion of your dental bill before your benefit plan will contribute to your cost of dental treatment. Your plan information will describe how your deductible works. Plans do vary on this point. For instance, some dental plans will apply the deductible to diagnostic or preventive treatments, and others will not.
Many insurance plans have a coinsurance provision. That means the benefit plan pays a predetermined percentage of the cost of your treatment, and you are responsible for paying the balance. What you pay is called the coinsurance, and it is part of your out-of-pocket cost. It is paid even after a deductible is reached.
Many dental plans offer three classes or categories of coverage. Each class provides specific types of treatment and typically covers those treatments at a certain percentage. Each class also specifies limitations and exclusions (see headings on these elsewhere in this section). Reimbursement levels vary from plan to plan, so be sure to read your benefits information carefully.
Planning a trip out of the country? It’s helpful to schedule a dental checkup before you leave, especially if you’ll be traveling in developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care.
The U.S. Department of State issues travel alerts to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. In the spring of 2009, for example, the Department of State issued a travel alert cautioning people to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico because of an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in that country that resulted in a number of deaths. In addition, the alert recommended that travelers check the department’s Web site for new travel advisories as well as the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for any additional information or recommendations.
Flight and Vacation Activities After Certain Dental Procedures
It’s important to know that many dental procedures are surgical in nature. Dental implants, for example, often require months of healing. Post treatment risks after dental surgical procedures include bleeding, pain, swelling and infection. Your body may need time to rest and recover after procedures such as wisdom tooth extraction, root canals, dental implants and gum surgery, which should be factored in to flight and vacation activity schedules. In addition, it is possible that changes in airplane cabin pressure might cause discomfort in some patients who have recently had oral surgery. Bear in mind that significant dental procedures require follow-up care to make sure everything is healing and functioning properly. Continuity of care is important and should be a consideration when making treatment decisions.
Continuity of Care
The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages you to visit a dentist on an ongoing basis to ensure continuity of care. Establishing a “dental home” provides you with comprehensive oral health care so conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can be diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is simpler and more affordable. A dentist who knows your case history can provide you with guidance on good oral health care habits, preventive oral health services and diagnosis and treatment of dental disease based on your individual needs. One dental visit does not establish the continuity of care that is necessary for maintaining good oral health.
Need to make an appointment before a vacation? Contact Glasscock Dental
8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262